Keeping Cherry Shrimp: A Beginner's Guide to These Colourful Crustaceans
These small and brightly-coloured creatures bring a whole new dynamic to your aquarium, engaging in interesting behaviours and serving as efficient cleaners. So, let's jump right in and learn how to care for Cherry Shrimp.
Cherry Shrimp's Perfect Home:
Cherry Shrimp are one of the hardiest shrimp species, which makes them an excellent choice for novices. A small tank of around 40 litres (10 gallons) can comfortably house a group of these shrimp, although they can be kept in larger community tanks as well.
Cherry Shrimp are big fans of heavily planted tanks. Live plants provide hiding spots, areas for grazing, and help maintain water quality. Mosses are excellent choices.
Ideal Water Parameters:
Cherry Shrimp thrive in the following water conditions:
- Temperature: Keep your Cherry Shrimp comfortable between 20-25 degrees Celsius.
- pH: They prefer slightly acidic to slightly alkaline water, so aim for a pH range between 6.5 and 8.0.
- Hardness: Cherry Shrimp are adaptable, but a general hardness (GH) of 4-8 dGH and a carbonate hardness (KH) of 3-15 dKH is typically suitable.
Regular water testing is critical to ensure these parameters are maintained.
Feeding Your Cherry Shrimp:
Cherry Shrimp are omnivorous scavengers and spend most of their time grazing on biofilm, algae, and decaying plant matter in the tank. However, they benefit from supplementary feeding a few times a week. Specialised shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, and small amounts of fish food are all good choices. Remember, Cherry Shrimp have tiny appetites, so be careful not to overfeed! We feed ours the AZOO Max Growth and AZOO Max Breed.
Choosing Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates:
When choosing tank mates for Cherry Shrimp, consider their small size and peaceful nature. There are very lmited suitable companions as shrimp are at the bottom of the food chain. Most fish see Cherry Shrimp as a snack. Peaceful fish such as Otocinculus and Corydoras pygmaeus are suitable. Other shrimp species, and snails can also be good companions.
A Few Notes on Cherry Shrimp Breeding:
Cherry Shrimp are prolific breeders. If you have both males and females in favourable conditions, you'll likely start to see tiny shrimplets before long. Just make sure there are plenty of hiding spots for the shrimplets to evade any curious tank mates.
In conclusion, Cherry Shrimp are an excellent addition to your aquatic family. They are not only fascinating to watch but also serve as helpful little janitors, tidying up your tank. So, gear up for a fun-filled aquarist journey with Cherry Shrimp, and enjoy the vibrancy they add to your aquarium!